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Perhaps figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Also kwn as Miriam of Magdala, Mary Magdalene was considered by the apostle John to be the founder of Christianity because she was the first witness to the Resurrection. In most theological studies she has been depicted as a reformed prostitute, the redeemed sinner who exemplifies Christ's mercy. Today's reader can ponder her role in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew--the collection of what have come to be kwn as the Gstic gospels rejected by the early Christian church. Mary's own gospel is among these, but until w it has remained unkwn to the public at large. Orthodox theologian Jean-Yves Leloup's translation of the Gospel of Mary from the Coptic and his thorough and profound commentary on this text are presented here for the first time in English. The gospel text and the spiritual exegesis of Leloup together reveal unique teachings that emphasize the eminence of the divine feminine and an abiding love of nature over the dualistic and ascetic interpretations of Christianity presented elsewhere. What emerges from this important source text and commentary is a renewal of the sacred feminine in the Western spiritual tradition and a new vision for Christian thought and faith throughout the world.
Jean-Yves Leloup is the founder of the Institute of Other Civilization Studies and the International College of Therapists. His other books include Absurdity and Grace, Lack and Fullness, and a commentary on the Gospel of Thomas. He lives in France.